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Old 01-04-2013, 10:40 AM
 
11 posts, read 22,288 times
Reputation: 22

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2nd post ever!!

I am almost 23 years old and about to graduate with my bachelors in Business Admin/Marketing and Health/Fitness. I am currently living in North Dakota and need to leave.

Reasons why I am leaving...

1) I hate the cold. I hate being forced to sprint from my car to home, home to car, car to store, store to car, and all around again because the high for that day is 5 degrees F and the wind is never less than 10 mph. I also have Raynauds in my hands, which means I have to wear mittens at all times outdoors or my fingers swell up like sausages and sting. I am a runner and would love to get somewhere wear I can run outside without putting on 4 layers + facemask.

2) I am sick and tired of the conservative attitude around here. I have been called a "hippie" on more than one occasion because I don't have a car and prefer to walk everywhere, and dress a little more "free-spirited" than my friends and fellow ND residents (maxi dress = stares from everyone).

3) There is nothing to do here!! In the summer, I can be outside. I can go out to the lake (beach), I can go on a bike ride, frisbee golfing, running, walking my dog, etc. But from November through April (1/2 of the year approximately) you have 4 choices - the bar, the gym, TV, and walmart. No joke, walmart is an "activity" around here in the winter. I am dying to go to a place where there is another option than drinking!

What I am concerned with about moving to CO...

1) Jobs. I have read on numerous forms that college kids like me have essentially 0 opportunities to make more than $10 starting at any job there. I was reading a lot of Ft Collins forms so maybe it is different for the Denver metro area - but that is a big problem here. Unless I went out to Western ND to work on the rigs I might as well be happy with making $12 w/a degree, $9 w/o.

2) Living - I currently have a pretty awesome set up renting a 2 BR house that allows my cat and my dog. How much do you think I would be paying for the same thing in smaller (less than 100k pop.) OR cities and higher (100k+ pop) OR cities? I don't need a yard because my dog doesn't use our yard for potty-time anyways, but I do need to be allowed to have him there!

3) Safety - I am a 100lb girl and I love to be outdoors, walking my dog, running, etc. I frequently go on 10+ mile runs in the country or in town with only my iPod. Is this just unthinkable in CO?

and lastly
4) Things to do! I don't think I could move anywhere with less to do than I have right now (see point 3 above) But, I am pretty resourceful when it comes to doing things outdoors. And I am not opposed to driving - currently to get to any real music scene I have a 5 hour drive to the Minneapolis/St. Paul. But as I stated above I would like to be close to places where there was something else to do than get hammered at the bar. Proximity to beaches and music/young scene are things I am hoping for.

What do you think, any and all help is every so greatly appreciated!! I am just a complete newb when it comes to these things!

(Also, I posted almost this exact post on the Oregon forms. If anyone has experience with both states I would love to hear about it!! Thanks!)
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:08 AM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,182,783 times
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IMO, you've got a serious problem with the Raynaud's and Denver's winter climate ... which is a cold area for at least 4 months each year, if not longer.

and I've got a lot of experience with Raynaud's due to my Mom diagnosed having it for over 60 years. It made Denver winter time visits absolutely impossible for her. We were acclimated to the cold, so our houses were kept at mid-60's in the winter. For Mom, it was deathly cold and when she progressed into CRESS in her later years, it was totally impossible for her to be comfortable, let alone avoid flare-ups in her fingers. Even with a space heater or two strategically placed in our houses to give her localized heat, she was totally uncomfortable at 75-80 degrees in a room. I think the dry Denver climate conditions added to her discomfort. Even visits to Vail in the Fall were uncomfortable for Mom ... and "sprinting to the car" wasn't a great relief because the car was cold soaked when we got into it; it took awhile before we had heat and ambient temps that could allow Mom to be comfortable.

Consider, too, that at Denver's altitude and the winds that show up during the winter months, that the "wind chill" factor when outdoors will be a serious detriment to your condition. It wouldn't be uncommon for the perceived air temps to be in low teens to single digits, especially if you are running or bicycling so have even faster air movement than just standing around outside. At 5,000' elevation, Denver has a lapse rate lower temperature than similar conditions would present at your current altitude ... heading to the foothills or the mountains would aggravate this lower temperature situation.

Housing with multiple pets? this can be problematic. Not saying you can't find suitable housing in the Denver metro area with pets, but it will be something that will present compromises as far as cost, quality, or location. I wouldn't expect to spend less than $1,000/month if you need a 2-bedroom house. Best to contact the RE management/property management companies around the area to get an idea of what's available ... but you also need to balance your housing search with the prospective locations of employment, given your desire to not drive everywhere if possible ....

So your search for living in Denver area will best be served by locating a job first. In today's marketplace, I think you'll need to pull out all the stops ... contacting prospective employers directly, visiting head hunters, checking out the advertised jobs, networking with people you know in the biz ... anything and everything that you can possibly bring to bear upon your employment situation. As you have discovered already, it's a tight job marketplace and it's not unusual for a lot of recent college grads to not find employment in their major field ... or at a manageable income level.

Don't know what you consider to be extreme clothing appearance, but for the most part ... folk in Denver won't give a damn how you are dressed and you won't attract undue/unwarranted attention with anything that could be legal. Of course, an appropriate business wardrobe for your professional job could be a consideration ...

It's reasonable to go for runs in many parks and open space areas with expectations of just being another among many. Denver is an outdoor recreation oriented area .... although proximity to "beaches" could be a limiting factor for you, as there simply aren't many bodies of water around with a beach area. There are a lot of outdoor activities to be had Nov-April in the area, but they all typically involve cold weather ... skiing, running, bicycling, hiking ... even fishing. The water temps in the mountain fed lakes and streams can be very cold, too, even in the summer months; boating on many of the lakes can be a hypothermic experience if you get into the water except at the edge of a limited beach area; swimming not advised in a lot of the lakes.

If you really hate cold and have issues with Raynauds ... then I wouldn't advise Denver as a comfortable place for you to live much of the year.

Last edited by sunsprit; 01-04-2013 at 11:25 AM..
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:07 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,947 posts, read 20,190,335 times
Reputation: 22564
Look at Texas.
Warmer.
Austin is full of weirdos.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:01 PM
 
254 posts, read 428,350 times
Reputation: 189
I moved from ND to CO and there is NO comparison regarding weather. Yes, CO does experience the four seasons, but instead of not seeing the sun from Nov-Feb, it is sunny here much of the time (compared to ND.) I've been tracking the weather for the past year or so and it is generally (but certainly not always) 20-30 degrees warmer in CO than in ND. But yes, it does get cold here. (And don't get me started on how many people don't know how to drive on snowy roads here!)

CO is generally very animal friendly (although finding housing with pets can be a challenge, from what I've heard.) There are quite a few dog parks and dog friendly places in the metro area. A dog is almost a requirement for CO residency.

Many places in CO are much more liberal than in ND. CO is more of a "live and let live" kind of place.

There is lots to do here and not everything costs a lot of money (i.e. parks, bike trails, etc. are free.)

There is much much more here to do than go to the bar, but you won't find many beaches and the lakes are nothing like those in ND or MN.

Many people run, bike, hike, etc. so if you use common sense, you'll most likely be safe when running, as others will likely be doing the same. Crime in much of ND is higher than in my Denver suburb, although it sounds like you are seeking more of a city experience.

We have SuperTarget here. :-) (Curious where the heck you are in ND where Wmt is entertainment? Yikes.)

As you know, the cost of living is much higher here than most places in ND and you need to save some money before moving here without a job. There is a lot of competition for jobs and entry level positions generally do not pay well. Do not underestimate the importance of these factors.

Best wishes.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:07 PM
 
254 posts, read 428,350 times
Reputation: 189
PS Sun's post is right on target--great info! However I disagree about the weather. The wind in ND is many, many times stronger than is typical in CO (although there are pockets of windy weather in northern CO) and it is typically much colder in ND, particularly from Oct-March. You'll have to determine if CO's cold weather causes your Raynauds to flare though. Have you ever been here?
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:38 PM
 
13,292 posts, read 25,459,767 times
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I had a friend with Raynaud's and scleroderma. She lost the tip of one finger before deciding she had to move somewhere,and we looked all over the map. She ended up in Phoenix- couldn't take any cold anywhere, and said the necessary a/c in Phoenix still wasn't as bad as any cold weather anywhere.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
21 posts, read 32,524 times
Reputation: 34
I went to college in Fort Collins and agree that the city has a very lousy job market, especially for recent grads. I personally don't think Denver is much better. I know many people who have graduated recently with business degrees who just can't seem to find work in Denver. It seems standard for most people to take a bad job after graduation in retail or something and then eventually go back to graduate school in hopes of dodging the lousy job market. Some people are able to eventually network their way into jobs, but with the state of the economy, even people with connections are having a hard time. Not being able to find a job is the number one reason why the people I've met from out of state end up packing their bags in a year or so and heading to another state. It can be tough out here.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:39 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,019,284 times
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Wink 3 & 4

In order:

1) It certainly gets cold in Colorado at times, if the Front Range one of the milder places in the state. The dry air and prevalent sun helps in this respect, and objectively as well subjectively it will likely feel warmer for a given temperature than in ND. Chances are you'll feel like being outside more often. May have to play it by ear with Raynaud's to see if a warmer climate is the best answer; although bear in mind that stress is a contributing factor, so just being where preferred may help.

2) Colorado is a fairly tolerant place. You'd have to go out of your way to be considered a "hippie," or at least called as much (and some nonplused in any event, as more or less the real deal). Head to one of the locals like Boulder and you'll flow right in, all copacetic, peace and light.

3) Walmart just doesn't get any respect; it can be a great place. Nevertheless, Colorado offers more options than spending a day sorting through their discount DVD bin. Real beaches are in sort supply, and although with some looking one can find a natural lake or reservoir, not exactly what this state is known for. Even if many of the alpine lakes are stunning (and rather cold). Many of the activities one might enjoy in summer, even golfing, can be enjoyed to some degree through winter. This is a very outdoor kind of place, and even those more naturally couch potatoes will at least probably feel guilty that they are not out again biking, running in a marathon, or at least on a long walk. The weather is often conducive to such things.

AND

1) Frankly, this will probably be the biggest hurdle: in securing decent employment. Colorado would likely have a larger population if it wasn't as difficult. One idea could be instead of searching for what someone will deign to provide in a minimum kind of way, instead angle (long term if need be) towards what one studied for and presumed passion. Someone who ends up being perceived as a guru of sorts in health and fitness is bound to collect a clientele around here. Not that there wouldn't be competition in this, but what do they know, versus what you might?

2) Accept from the outset that Colorado will have a higher cost of living. Especially so for lodging, and often with the combination of rentals and pets all the more difficult. Expect to probably reflect on occasion how much cheaper one's accommodation would be elsewhere.

3) Safety, unthinkable? Not at all. Do of course practice a certain caution, as one might anywhere. But within all the many choices in better neighborhoods this is not much of a concern.

4) Save an ideal location near an urban center, having a vehicle, if not mandatory, would be quite useful. And even then nice to have on occasion. Without a vehicle you will not see the better part of this beautiful state, or perhaps rarely so when with friends. Take Fort Collins for instance: most everyone there drives everywhere. Yet one could live near Old Town and find it practical to walk the few blocks to nightlife as well as groceries and so forth. But off to Walmart or Target, well, maybe a bus will get there. Central Denver would be the most welcoming in this respect, for the dedicated pedestrian.

As for Oregon, it is a different enchilada. The Willamette Valley and places like Portland (where they are dedicated to keeping the town "weird") may seem like nirvana. Maybe excessively so, thus one can decide where their personal balance lies. The weather is certainly different. Most everything east of the Cascade Mountains is more arid and vaguely like Colorado, probably more conservative. All that changes west of this dividing range of mountains, and more or less rather wet, soggy and liberal. Do not expect to experience near as much sun, or see it much at all throughout winter. Summers can be delightful, and naturally drier than Colorado with its afternoon thunderstorms. Oregon could certainly be an option, if with a different feeling. More than a few have at times lived in both places, eventually preferring one over the other for personal reasons.

Good luck.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:54 AM
 
Location: Colorado
85 posts, read 156,765 times
Reputation: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by flcstud View Post
I went to college in Fort Collins and agree that the city has a very lousy job market, especially for recent grads. I personally don't think Denver is much better.
To be fair though, I read a lot of different state/city forums on this site, and it seems I read statements similar to the above in nearly every one - this town/state has a lousy job market, college grads can only get retail jobs, etc... Ironically, the only place I haven't heard this complaint is the North Dakota forum.

So it really doesn't matter where you go - apparently the majority of the country has a crappy job market. So if you really want to make a move - regardless of where - save up some cash first, and don't expect to land your dream job for a couple of years.

I know you don't want to hear this, but job-wise, you are probably in the best state you could be in. Have you thought about a different town maybe? The way I understand it, the whole state has a pretty good job market at the moment - you don't have to move all the way out to Williston. Weather-wise, Winter isn't going to be that much warmer in Colorado - at least not enough to make a difference with your condition. As I'm writing this, nights have been below zero here for over a week. And it's not even February. Now, as far as "things to do"... Colorado beats ND hands down. I used to live in ND so I get it. Most recreational activities here are outdoor-oriented, and the cities along the front range (Denver, Boulder, Ft. Collins, etc.) offer all of the social activities you can expect from any major US city (I don't live down there, so I can't be more specific).

Anyway, that's my take. There's really nowhere I would rather be than Colorado, but it's not right for everyone. How about taking a trip down here to check it out first?
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:30 AM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,947 posts, read 20,190,335 times
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